New Year's Day saw the official opening of A Room for London, a temporary installation on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in London's Southbank Centre. The project by David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner won a competition tendered last year.
The building perched on top of one of the most visited and recognisable structures of the city has been created to celebrate the Olympic Games (from 27 July to 12 August) and the Paralympics (29 August to 9 September) in London. It can accommodate two people at a time who can spend the night in a unique location with a view over the Thames and over St. Paul's Cathedral.
Kohn and Banner have imagined a “'boat' perched, as if by retreating floodwaters, on the very edge of the Queen Elizabeth hall at the Southbank”.
The visitors will be welcomed when they arrive “on board” by a raised flag to indicate the occupation of the small vessel. On the bridge of the boat, the guests will then be invited to fill in a logbook detailing what they have experienced during their stay in this unusual space.
Apart from accommodating couples who have booked the room for the night, the building also houses a special programme of meetings with artists, writers and cultural commentators. These 'thinkers-in-residence' may keep a log or create works of art by communicating it all on-line or by streaming directly from the structure. Some work will be immediately shown to the public, others will be developed gradually during the course of the year. Everybody will be offered the opportunity of sharing their experiences of a night in the structure.
On-line bookings which opened on 8 September 2011 sold out for the period from January to June within 12 minutes after going live!
Bookings for July to December will go on sale on 19 January.
Book very early or you'll miss out!